Turkish corsair, Pasha of Algiers
Pasha of Algiers
Ottoman troops (about 5,000 janissaries) troops led by Uluç Ali, Pacha of Algiers, marching on Tunis in 1569.
In March 1568, the vice-regency of Algiers fell vacant, and upon the recommendation of Piyale Pasha, Sultan Selim II appointed Uluj Ali to become the Pasha and Beylerbey of Algiers, the most powerful of the increasingly semi-independent corsair states in North Africa. In October 1569 he turned upon the Hafsid Sultan Hamid of Tunis, who had been restored to his throne by Spain. Marching overland with an army of some 5000, he quickly sent Hamid and his forces fleeing and made himself ruler of Tunis. Hamid found refuge in the Spanish fort at La Goulette outside Tunis.
In July 1570, while ostensibly en route to Constantinople to ask the Sultan for more ships and men in order to evict the Spaniards from all of North Africa, Uluj Ali encountered five Maltese galleys, commanded by Francisco de Sant Clement, then the captain-general of the Order’s galleys, near Cape Passaro in Sicily and captured four of them. (Sant Clement escaped, but on returning to Malta was condemned, strangled and his body put in a sack and dumped into the harbor.) This victory caused Uluj to change his mind and return to Algiers in order to celebrate. There, in early 1571, he was faced with a mutiny of the janissaries who demanded overdue pay. He decided to put to sea, leaving the mutinous soldiers to take their pay from anyone they could find and rob. Having learned of the presence of a large Ottoman fleet at Coron in the Morea, he decided to join it. It was the fleet commanded by Müezzinzade Ali Pasha that was to meet disaster at Lepanto a few months later.